After weeks of searching for the "perfect" experimental oscillator for creating West coast synth sounds in my personal music music, I decided to make my own with modules that I already owned!
The WMD/SSF eurorack module line is perfect for this purpose as it is full of awesome bread and butter modules that are built well, sound great, and don't cost an arm and a leg. I used two Spectrum Oscillators, a Blender Mixer, and an Ultrafold wavefolder as my base for this concept, trying to make complex waveforms with wild results without the use of a filter.
Check out the video and hear it for yourself!
The Buchla 259 Complex Waveform Generator was a groundbreaking module in synthesis in the fact that we did not yet have the means to create digital wavetables out of algorithms. Instead, we had to use wavefolding and modulation techniques to create complex, never before seen or heard waveforms.
In this video, we explore methods of creating our own complex oscillator style synthesizer voice using the Eurorack modules we already had in our case. Though this is an explanation on how to use WMD and WMD/SSF modules to create a complex waveform generator, you can apply these same techniques using many different brands of modules, as long as they have the necessary features such as Frequency Modulation (FM) wave shaping or folding, and a VCA to perform amplitude modulation (AM) I could have gone deeper down the rabbit hole of AM and using different tunings for each oscillator but I got distracted by the sounds I was making with FM and wavefolding. Maybe that's a topic for another video?
West Coast synthesis is something that we don't explore much in WMD demo videos as we are constantly searching for ways to make melodies, basslines, and drum beats quickly and efficiently. When it comes to adding something a tonal, ambient textures and strange rhytmic loops, the complex waveform generator concept is an awesome way to add some discontinuty to music. The basic nature of the style of synthesis lends itself to creating complex and ever-changing waveforms as when two oscillators are used without syncing one to the other, differences in pitch and phase cause the signal to be less static than that of an rhythmically produced wavetable waveform.
This video was recorded live and then edited down to preserve the bits that we felt were most important to share. For more information on complex waveform generators and concepts, check out Learningmodular.com and the book, Patch and Tweak.
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